Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters (The Era of Vampires) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 22, 2011
Another asian action-horror that really needed more story and character development to give it more depth. It's so full of plot holes and characters randomly appear from nowhere without any info on their backstory. It's as if the film starts at halfway through a story. Action-wise it is pretty entertaining and adds a bit of martial arts to the Vampire-slaying mix. It is very much an asian inspired take on the Vampiric genre but is actually more of a Zombie film. Decent entertainment overall, never boring or dull, but could have been better.
Super Reviewer
½ October 3, 2009
Master Mao Shan and his four best students?Wind, Thunder, Rain, and Lightning, are searching the countryside for Vampires. No one does Vampire films like this. Plenty of sword play. While searching they stumble on the lair of King Vampire and this dude can fight.. The film is full of great stunts and opens a new look at the vampires and zombies. 4 1/2 stars, get this one you will be blown away.
Super Reviewer
August 5, 2007
Worst and cheesy Hong Kong action horror film of students battling zombies in 19th-century China by Tsui Hark.
Super Reviewer
April 21, 2008
It's more silly than scary and relies excessively on surprisingly low-rent CGI effects and crude wirework to drum up interest in the slight story. An uninspired addition to the generally endearing subgenre.
March 11, 2011
To be honest, I've been behind on my little list of watched film that need to be rated, so I only recall that this one meanders around way too much for its own good and never really grabbed my attention with either the martial arts nor the horror elements on display.

Give it a look if you're feeling brave, but this one just didn't grab me.
April 24, 2009
Story was kind of weak. Fighting sequences were great. The vampires were scary floating around and even upside down. The zombie were weird and not really scary when they hop around a lot, but when they fight they were cool.
November 26, 2007
The most funny and strange vampire/zombie hybrid with samurai blend. Loved watching this, kept me laughing.
½ July 22, 2013
Most people simply did not get this one. A clever blend of horror, wu xia, and even comedy that has something for everyone. It's a breather from the western vampire tale with it's suave, clean cut bloodsuckers and replaces them with violent, merciless undead horrors and pits them against Taoist martial artists in a film that does not fail to entertain.
½ February 3, 2013
The high-flying action of Hong Kong Horror cinema returns with Tsui Hark's VAMPIRE HUNTERS! Four warriors set out on an epic quest to destroy the powerful vampire lord that has taken up residence in the Jiang household, but it will take all of their strength to defeat him and the legions of the undead that he has cast under his spell. VAMPIRE HUNTERS flows from the same vein of martial arts mayhem, humor, and horror that gave us MR. VAMPIRE in 1985. Director Wellson Chin breathes plenty of spooky atmosphere into the misty 17th century setting and moonlit battles, adding a frightening group of wax-covered corpses and rotting vampires to the mix. While the fast-paced fight choreography and wire work cannot compare to Hark's other pictures, they are very ambitious and extremely effective for the budget. VAMPIRE HUNTER's greatest fault lies in its characters, who each fall into one-dimensional stereotypes that lack definition. Regardless, MR. VAMPIRE fans will find this to be a worthy homage to the 1980's that provides plenty of action, excitement, and entertainment!

-Carl Manes
I Like Horror Movies
June 10, 2011
The dubbing takes an already corny film and grinds it into "weak sauce".
The Chinese DON'T HAVE VAMPIRES in their mythology. The ghoulish undead are REALLY CALLED "KYONSHI".
The dubbers try to westernize the Kyonshi and all of it's unique traits by saying "OUR VAMPIRES ARE VERY DIFFERENT."

I find that rot...hard to swallow.
May 25, 2011
Tsui Hark produced this mess of a movie. Not sure if US Version is edited. But this is really hard to watch and keep track of. The movie is all over the place. Most bad Hong Kong movies have decent action. Vampires did not even do that. Do not rent this. Hark what happen to you. Your better than this.
June 10, 2010
(***): Thumbs Up

Entertaining even if it did drag at times.
August 17, 2006
Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters (aka "The Age of Vampires")
Starring: Ji Chin Hua, Kwok-Kwan Chan, Ken Chang, Suet Lam, Michael Chow Man-Kin, and Anya

When master vampire hunter (Hua) and his four apprentices (Chan, Chang, Lam, and Chow Man-Kin) are seperated after a disastrous confrontation with a Vampire King, the four young men take up jobs as servants in the house of a mysterious, wealthy embalmber, because a magical compass indicates the Vampire King might be hiding in his sprawling home. They soon become embroiled in a series of plots swirling around the old man, his newly-wed son and daughter-in-law (Anya), and his rumored hidden treasure. Meanwhile, the vampire continues to kill....

"Vampire Hunters" is a vexing movie. I like it, because it has the feel of the early volumes of Rumiko Takahashi's "Inu-Yasha" series, back when it was more horror focused than adventure strip/soap-operatic-like. (I know "Inu-Yasha" is set in Japan and this film takes place in rural China of the 1700s, but the tone and feel were the same--innocent peasants, and even powerful bandit lords, being slaughtered wholesale by supernatural creatures, with young heroes with magical powers coming to their defense.) I also liked the treatment of undead and zombies vs. vampires and the whole "progression" that the film uses--and I really loved the "zombie wrangler" and the scheme he and the other villains cooked up to create a distraction to get at the old man's treasure. However, the film has too many subplots and too many characters, and nothing gets fully resolved or explained because the various elements are tripping over each other and getting in each other's way. (There are four young vampire-busting heroes in the film, but only one plays a major role, and the film loses track of two or three of them for stretches at a time, for no reason other than there isn't time to deal with them. And to make the film even more crowded with characters, two of the vampire hunters get "love-at-first-sight relationships, only one of which is dealt with in any real way other than having it there.)

The cgi/wire-fu fight scenes are okay, and the Vampire King is very creepy (and fantastically, graphically gory in the way he both feeds and kills). The acting put me in mind of the old Kung-Fu films from the 1970s, but this is not a put-down, because the film also reminded me to some extent of the Hammer Films from the 1950s and 1960s. If only the story had been less crowded with characters and subplots, "Vampire Hunters" could have been an excellent little horror/action flick. As it is, though, for all the ways it reminds of other films and graphic novel series that I really like, and as much as I like the extremely creepy undead critters in the film, I can't recommend that you check it out.

(It's a shame, because for the first ten or so minutes, I thought this was going to be winner.)
December 14, 2004
I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't like this movie very much. Maybe it was the Chinese version of vampires - zombies that feed on human flesh and eventually become vampires - because they were zombies, they LOOK like zombies (oatmeal painted black, formed into a body and dressed in ancient Chinese garb). No sexy vampires in this movie.
The hunters-Thunder,Lightning,Rain and Wind-are indistinguishable from one another. When I read the synopsis, I was looking forward to each character costumed in such a way as to relate their affinity with each weather pattern. But they were all wearing grey clothes and their "moves" had nothing to do with thunder,lightning,rain or wind! Boring...

Now, some of the fight scenes are absolutley fantastic, beautiful and graceful. The best part of this movie was the sets...but when you have real ancient temples at your disposal, they better be good!

I have to tell you the truth though, I fell asleep in the middle and woke up at the end only to find that I apparently hadn't missed much!

sidenote: I also noticed that this is one case where you MUST read the subtitles - the English voice-over is translated so badly that I laughed out loud and changed it back to subtitles...the only time the English voice-over has been any good was in Japanese to English films so viewer beware, don't be lazy! Read the damn subtitles - you'll never be disappointed!
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